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Don’t It Paint My Brown Lawn Green?

Monday, July 28, 2014

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The grass is always greener when there is plenty of water. And when there isn’t, there is paint.

Yes, spray-applied paint is the increasingly popular Plan B for drought-struck California homeowners who want—or have—to keep their parched lawns green.

The green yard pursuit isn't just about keeping up with the Joneses, either. It's increasingly about keeping up with local authorities that have conflicting agendas.

Facebook / Grass is Greener Lawn Painting

Faced with fines for excessive water use, some Californians are turning to lawn painting to keep their grass looking green during the drought.

Some residents are in a no-win situation: Get fined by the state for excessive water use to maintain their yards, or get fined by local governments and homeowners' associations for brown grass.

Fined If You Do...

Starting Aug. 1, the state will sanction homeowners for excessive water use. The State Water Resources Control Board approved emergency regulations July 15 that allow local law enforcement and water agencies to impose a maximum $500-a-day fine.

The restrictions ban residential and commercial use of drinkable water to hose off sidewalks or driveways; watering lawns or gardens to the point of runoff; washing cars without a shutoff nozzle; and using potable water in non-circulating fountains.

...Fined if You Don't

Yet the same day those regulations were approved, one Southern California couple was threatened with a $500 fine for not watering their lawn, Consumerist.com reported.

The city of Glendora sent the couple a letter that read: "Despite the water conservation efforts, we wish to remind you that limited watering is still required to keep landscaping looking healthy and green."

Gov. Jerry Brown fought back, signing a bill July 21 that prohibits homeowners' associations from fining residents who stop watering their lawns to conserve water. However, the law, which takes effect immediately, doesn't stop local governments from issuing citiations.

Earth-Friendly Lawn Paint

So what do you do when you've been painted into a corner? Paint your way back out.

"As soon as the water sanctions hit, and as soon as people find their water bills rising, they're looking for ways to cut back on their expenses, and that's when they start calling," Kerri McCoy, a commercial lawn painter, told CBS affiliate KPIX 5.

© Jodi Temyer / Technology Publishing Company

"As soon as the water sanctions hit, and as soon as people find their water bills rising, they're looking for ways to cut back on their expenses, and that's when they start calling," said a commercial lawn painter.

McCoy says the paint is environmentally friendly and lasts about three months.

Business is about 75 percent busier than usual for Shawn Sahbari, owner of a Los Gatos, CA-based lawn painting company. "Water is at a premium," Sahbari told KPIX 5.

The company's recent projects include painting the lawn at the Almaden Valley Athletic Club in San Jose.

Sahbari said the coating isn't actually paint, but rather a water-based solution similar to food coloring. According to the company's website, it is an "advanced acqueous polymer formulation for maintaining the aesthetic appearance of grass and lawns on residential and commercial properties."

For those DIYers, several companies also offer do-it-yourself grass painting kits.

   

Tagged categories: Color trends; Conservation; Environmentally friendly; Trends

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